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    Friday, November 05, 2004

    Great Scott!

    Composer, bandleader and inventor Raymond Scott was my uncle. No, no, just kiddin', just kiddin'. He was, however, a prolific musician who delved in jazz, experimental, and electronic music through the '30s, '40s, and '50s. He was also not born Raymond Scott. Harry Warnow was his real name and I just feel like sharing a few interesting facts about the music he made.

    Even if you've never heard of Raymond Scott, you've likely heard his work, most notably "Powerhouse" which graced many early Warner Bros. cartoons. He didn't write it for this purpose, nor did he write anything on Reckless Nights & Turkish Twilights to be featured as a soundtrack for Bugs, Porky, and Daffy.

    OK, so that's neat. He wrote some freaky fun jazz that ended up in cartoons. Yes, but he also composed three volumes of Soothing Sounds for Baby designed to entrance babies and act as an aural toy for kids aged 1-18 months. Great ambient music.

    But if you don't like cartoons or babies, then maybe you'll get a kick out of Manhattan Research, Inc. I just picked this up and I'm enjoying all 69 tracks of weird electronic noodlings and amusing corporate advertisements. Highlights are commercials for cough drops, perfume, General Motors, Twinkies, and IBM.

    Some folks thought he was rubbish. But I dig Raymond Scott, and maybe you might too.

    Bonus Track of the Week: Raymond Scott "Powerhouse"